When you meet Bruce, you cannot help but notice his positive, can-do attitude. His laughter is contagious. He is optimistic about his life. Bruce lives independently and loves his job at a Boston restaurant. After a year of employment, his hard work has been recognized by customers and his manager alike.
However when Bruce first met his Employment Specialist, offered as part of Vinfen’s Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS), he was unemployed. “When I didn’t work, I was doing nothing. I felt trapped,” Bruce said. Vinfen supported him in his efforts to find a job that interested him. “My Employment Specialist has been there every step of the way,” Bruce said.
Bruce continues to work successfully with the support of his CBFS Team. He is receiving ongoing benefits counseling to help him continue on the road to self-sufficiency. “I feel less stressed now that I work. I have a lot of skills and talent that I have uncovered. I know my mom is proud of me,” he said.
Vinfen Supported Employment Services not only helps people with psychiatric conditions find and secure work, but can transform their whole lives, leading them to recovery. “People often think employment is just a way to earn an income, but there are many benefits. Employment provides daily purpose, a meaningful role in one’s community, and an alternative to social isolation and loneliness,” said Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Steve LaMaster. “It’s a myth that people should only work when they have fully recovered. Employment helps with recovery.”
Employment was also integral to Kaelee’s recovery. She came to Vinfen as a young adult with a goal of working in the medical field and achieving independence from public benefits. With the active support of her CBFS Team, she graduated from a medical assistant program. Kaelee has successfully maintained her goal of full-time employment since 2015 and has since published her autobiography about overcoming obstacles. She no longer receives benefits from Social Security and is economically independent. “Hard work does pay off!” she exclaimed.